21 November 2011

WARNING: This post will NOT inspire you.


Now don't freak out.

But, yes. I decided to bow out of National Novel Writing Month.

Why? Well, I have my set of "excuses" (if you want to call them that). But, in reality, I just wasn't attached to my idea enough to continue with it. It wasn't me.

And to be honest, I don't think I'm ready to dive into a novel. And plus, I want to have a lot of faith in the book before I jump into it. I know that NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a time where you don't think about those things. Where you dive in without thought and just get that book done. But, that wasn't quite something I wanted to do.

I know I'll have next year. And maybe I'll do it. Maybe I won't.

Here's what bothers me about NaNoWriMo, though.

I have a comparison that came to me when I googled "is nanowrimo a good idea." And after reading a blog post from an editor who talked about the actual process of writing. And the time it takes. And the double amount of work that ends up happening as a result of NaNoWriMo (don't worry, I read this well AFTER I had made my decision). And I asked myself again, "Do I love this idea...do I love what I have written enough...to devote myself completely to?"

Again I thought....no.

So, I decided to not go with it this year. I do have other projects I want to focus on - several short stories I want to work on. I have articles I want to write and try and get published. No, it isn't as glamorous as a book, but I have more faith in the ideas I am working on than the idea I had before.


I have a new blogging opportunity that I am focusing on! YAY! My launch-post will be posted today, so please come by and say "Hi!" It will be great to see some familiar faces over there.

Go to: http://www.off-the-deep-end.net/.

So, good luck to my NaNo peeps...I'm trying not to feel too guilty, and maybe one day, I will regret it. Maybe I won't. Maybe I will look back on those 5,000 words I have written so far and wish I had continued with it. And maybe I will just know myself well enough to know that if I didn't stick with it, it isn't because I'm not a bad writer. It is just because I haven't found the one yet.

Like I said, I told you this post probably won't inspire you. 

Until next time, my writing friends. Make sure you come over to the blog "Off The Deep End" and check out my latest blog post. I will be writing book reviews with a different sort of twist. So, I hope you will enjoy.

Editor's Note: Oddly enough, the first draft of this post was a lot more cynical. A few days later I went back and deleted some content so I didn't come across as a total downer to people actually enjoying their time at NaNoWriMo. :) Happy Writing Everyone!


  1. This sounds like a very sound decision...for you. I've never participated in NaNo, for many of the reasons you posted here. It's just not for everybody! Good luck with your other projects!! :)

  2. This actually is inspiring. You realized you were wasting your time on an idea you weren't committed to. Then, you decided to step away and move on to an idea you are committed to. Guess which one you're more likely to finish and sell.

    I view Nano as a testing ground for potential writers. Finishing is not proof that you're a writer, but as I've said before, Nano shows you what it's like to have to write whether you're "inspired" or not. I have friends who write for a living and this is their world.

    Nano netted me the bones of a good story, one I care enough about to improve my craft before finishing. It didn't make me a writer, but it confirmed that I wanted to be a writer. And I'm moving forward. So will you.

  3. Writing is about passion. Not about how many words you can write in a day. When I'm not passionate about the story, it's just not going to get written. I think it's great to write every day, but it needs to be filled with excitement. Whether you're working on a novel, or you blog about something, or you write a scene to a book you haven't even started. Just something to keep you writing. :)

  4. I think Cassie Mae has the right idea. Writing is your passion, and you do need to feel passionate about what you write.

    I've been working on 2nd draft of my 4th book This book's first draft took me 3 months to write at 80K.

    Everyone needs to know their writing limit and I simply think that NaNo may break too many writers who think this is how to get a novel done. It isn't. A frist draft shouldn't be looked at like something to knock off in 4 short weeks.

  5. I could not do nanowritmo for the exact same reason. I have never participated and probably never will, as I find that my creativity does not like to be told when to think thinks up. It just does. Good luck with your other projects.

  6. You think this isn't inspiring? Silly. Like the other's have told you, the inspiring part is the fact that you knew it wasn't right for you, that you weren't commited to it, and that you just weren't in love with your idea and acted on that. I've been "doing" Nano for three years now, and I haven't managed to come anywhere close to finishing yet. This year I've been so busy with other things that I've barely managed any writing at all... the word count is so low, that I haven't even looked to see what it actually is.

    Like Cassie said, writing isn't about the number of words you put down in a day - it's about what the words you do write mean to you. It's about how you feel about them and how they make you feel too. Nano is, I think, a great method for writer who have an idea that they're really passionate about, who really want to burst into the story and get as much done as quickly as possible. But not everyone can (or wants to) write like that. It just another of those personal choices and preferences that we all have.

    I wouldn't view quitting Nano (for the reasons that you did) as giving up... I'd think of it as changing direction. And since I just went over to the *new* blog that you wrote and took a look around, I think that it was a really great direction to take!


  7. In life, it's most important to never waste your time doing something you'd rather NOT be doing. So it was a good call. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Your post was very inspiring to me! I signed on to Nano for the first time this year, then rethought my decision for many of the reasons you mention.

    Perhaps Nano inspires many to *begin* writing, I'm already writing and just didn't need the extra push or pressure, especially during the "holiday month" of November. (I mean *really* - why couldn't they choose February or March???? )

  9. It all depends on what works for you. It has to make sense and you have to enjoy it. Sounds like a sound decision to me - and you are not alone. I decided against participating too.

  10. This post made me take another look at why it's been over 2 weeks since I wrote anything for NaNoWriMo. And it's not because I don't love writing.

    I think Cassie's comment echoes my sentiments exactly. Writing should be about passion, not the number of words that get written each day.

    I mean, I get the idea behind the discipline of forcing yourself to write every day. But the passion needs to be there, too. And with everything that I have going on in my life, and as much as I really want to be a full time writer, I have to take another look at this.

    Thanks for your blog post. It didn't stop me from NaNoWriMo, it just gave me some perspective on seeing why I hadn't kept on top of the 1700 words a day.

    Here's to all of us budding writers finding our avenues for writing passion.

  11. @DL Hammons - Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone! THat's so good to know!

    @Eric - Very true...VERY true. And it is something I know I need to remind myself of (that not everything I write will be earth shattering!) And I do feel that I will find a story that I will feel more committed too, I just don't think this one is it. And I'm moving forward. Thank you for your support - this is a little trip in the road that I felt guilty about!

    @Cassie Mae - Thank you Cassie! You are so right - and I'm the same way - without passion and a concern for the characters, the story won't get written. As long as you are writing everyday, than you are practicing that same muscle.

    @Lorelei - I really like what you said - NaNo may not be the best option for everyone (although I hate admitting defeat). I really don't think having a binge of writing is the best way to get the writing done...but then again maybe another year I will feel different!

    @Murees Dupe - ME TOO! I'm the same way! My creative self is very much like me (I know, surprise, right?) I don't like being told what to do, and neither does my creative self. It feels like rebellious child if I try to control when it's creative. :) Thank you for reading!

    @LDFerris - Thank you for the support! I'm so glad you thought this was inspiring - I felt like it was a terrible warning message. :) And you're right, I think if the idea felt right, my approach would have been different and it just didn't feel right to me this year! And thank you for visiting my other blog!! I'm so excited about this new direction. I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one that thinks that NaNo might be a little much for my creative self.

    @Nancy Thompson - Thank you! You are so right! It's worse to spend time doing something I really don't want to do. It's best to move on and learn from it. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    @Lisa Taylor - THank you! I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one! And I've always thought that too! Why the holiday season??? I mean, maybe June or August or something, but...come on, November?? And true - I'm writing already too, so I didn't need that extra push. Thank you for reading!!

    @ED - Thank you! You are right, I'm definitely not alone on this one, and I'm so glad! I'm feeling better about this decision already. :)

    @Marty Mankins - Yay! I'm so glad that this helped you. I guess my goal of being transparent on my blog has paid off - because I've gotten a lot of good feedback from this post that has made me feel better about my decision. You have to reprioritize when it's necessary and this just didn't work for me this year. Thanks for reading!!

  12. I am doing my first NaNoWriMo this year, and am at 85k words in an adventure/treasure hunt that I'm having a blast writing. That being said, I don't think it's for everyone, every year. If you can't do it as a fun thing, with a "if it's crap, it's crap, but I had a blast" mindset, you probably shouldn't start. In the 30s and 40's forum someone just posted the question - why does it seem like this group is getting more done. Most of the answers were along the lines of "we wouldn't do it if we didn't want to write our story" and "we can live with crap if that's what we end up with."

    Thanks for sharing your view for the 2011 NaNo, and good luck with your new site!

  13. Thanks Jen! You are definitely right - I also think you have to be connected to your story and truly want to go the long run with it. At least that's how I have to feel!

    Good luck with your project!



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